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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 24, 2023 09:31 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Licensed Art Therapist Certification
If you decide to obtain art therapy treatment in the Commonwealth, there is no way to know if the individual offering this treatment has the required training.

There are approximately 500 individuals in Pennsylvania offering some type of art therapy.  Art therapy is a distinct mental health and behavioral science profession that combines knowledge and understanding of human development, psychological and counseling theories, and techniques with training in visual art and the creative process.  Art therapy is used in order to provide a unique approach for helping clients improve psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions.

While art therapists share elements of their training and practice with other mental health specialties, it is the combining of psychological knowledge and counseling skills along with an understanding of art media, the effect of art stimulus, and the creative process that distinguishes art therapy from other mental health treatments.  Currently, individuals can practice this therapy in Pennsylvania without obtaining state certification ensuring their proficiency.

My legislation would require the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors to create a Licensed Art Therapist certification that ensures these individuals have the necessary training.

Several other states provide certification for art therapists.  It is time for our state to begin recognizing these professionals for their unique skill set, while providing our constituents with the peace of mind that these individuals truly provide the care they are seeking for their loved ones.

Please support this effort to provide a standard licensing process for all art therapists in the Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB1398